Our Falcons’ Story began in June of 1989….
Through his experience playing in local sports leagues, Drew Adair recognized the urgent need for an LGBT+ space for soccer players. To start this Philly movement, he first reached out to the NY Ramblers’ President and Founder, Bob Whitmore. He collected ideas on how to organize, advertise and discover what other teams were out there. Drew contacted the Park Commission Office about available field space, got some free ad space in Au Courant & PGN, and prepared a press release for the gay-friendly show on the public radio station.
In early July, Drew posted flyers at all the usual hangouts, submitted press releases and scheduled practice. On a softball field down in South Philly, Drew held the first practice with about 7 or 8 other men. Within a couple of weeks, they secured a couple of hours once a week on a college field hockey pitch (mostly when the security guards were on break!). As things progressed, there were regular practices, more men joining, and the group was gaining some publicity. One of the biggest initial hurdles was working with schedules of other sports and retaining players when it came time to seriously join leagues, which meant entering the public, heteronormative sphere. This emergence into leagues and playing in out-of-state tournaments also meant picking a name for the group was imminent and a crucial decision. After several meetings solely for the purpose of naming, the group stood behind the Falcons because it was “Philly-ish,” and had a lot of visual possibilities.
Our women’s teams didn’t start forming until 1998 when a Falcons team traveled to Dallas for a tournament with one woman player. Another team refused to play our team, which lit the fire to build up the women’s side of the club. By 1999, we were able to send a team just full enough to cover the field to the IGLFA Championship Tournament.
Now we have had over 500 members and continue to be at the forefront of inclusivity within the soccer community. We have teams in many leagues across Philadelphia and still travel nationally to tournaments. The Philadelphia Falcons Soccer Club invites you to join us on the soccer pitch!